How to become groundsman

What does a groundsman do?

Groundsmen/women are responsible for the care and maintenance of natural or synthetic turf playing surfaces at sports grounds, leisure facilities and other recreational amenities.

Their main responsibility is to manage the soil and grass to ensure the turf is always in optimum condition. The work involves:

  • preparing land, applying fertilisers and chemicals, irrigation and drainage, rolling and mowing, and weed control
  • marking lines on surfaces
  • installing and maintaining equipment such as nets, posts and protective covers
  • taking care of surrounding areas such as decorative displays, concrete or tarmac
  • operating light and heavy equipment, including rotavators, sprinklers and shredders
  • painting, removing rubbish and general duties.

Tasks vary according to the season and environmental conditions.


What's the working environment like working as a groundsman?

Groundsmen/women work 37.5 to 40 hours a week, but this varies with the season and type of venue. Part-time, weekend and evening work may be required.

The work is mostly outdoors in all weathers, and can be quite strenuous. In some instances travel around a large site or to several different sites is necessary.

What does it take to become a groundsman?

To be a groundsman/woman you should:

  • have the strength and fitness needed to use heavy equipment
  • have practical skills and a methodical approach to problem-solving
  • have knowledge of soils and drainage methods
  • be able to interpret plans and drawings
  • be able to work as part of a team or on your own initiative.

Though there are no strict entry requirements, an interest in gardening or a horticultural qualification may help. Jobs are usually available through an apprenticeship. 

Groundsman career opportunities

Groundsmen/women are employed by private leisure providers, local authorities, sports clubs, schools, educational establishments, grounds maintenance contractors, the armed services and large corporations with company leisure facilities.

Promotion prospects vary depending on the nature and size of the employer; some organisations have a promotion structure where you could progress first to supervisor or team leader, then to head of section or into management. Promotion may depend on acquiring higher qualifications.

Some move into leisure management or estate management, while others opt for self-employment as contractors or consultants. There may be opportunities for work abroad.

Vacancies are advertised in publications such as The Groundsman, The Guardian (Wednesdays) and Horticulture Week.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about becoming a groundsman that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Lantra House
Stoneleigh Park
Nr Coventry
Tel: 0845 707 8007

Lantra career advice sites:

The Institute of Groundsmanship
28 Stratford Office Village
Wolverton Mill East
Milton Keynes
MK12 5TW
Tel: 01908 312511






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